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gam000

05:58AM | 12/03/04
Member Since: 12/01/04
2 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
Hi,

We just bought a new house in LA built in 60s and want to add on to the back to add a master bath. The house has a concrete slab foundation so I am not sure how to tie into the existing plumbing. Are the current pipes buried in the concrete slab? How do you find where the run in the floor or do you have to break concrete all the way to an existing bath/kitchen? The house was already very expensive so we would like to minimize the expense and do as much as we can of the project. Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks

tomh

06:19AM | 12/03/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
The difficulty of adding plumbing is one of the reasons that additions of baths or kitchens can be the most expensive types of additions. Its impossible to advise specifically without knowing more about the house, but you must tie into existing plumbing at some point. That can be near existing fixtures, or where the sewer lateral leaves the house (usually towards the street). As you can guess, this is a major draw-back to a construction.

The best thing to help save money and plan the project is to obtain house plans with the plumbing rough-in. If you must tie into a line in the interior of the house, the concrete can be cut with specialized tools, but must be done by someone that understands foundations, slabs and plumbing. This is not likely a DIY venture. There are more things than sewer pipes buried in that slab (post tensions, water pipes, power).

Be prepared to pull permits for this job for your own protection (budget fees). Obtaining permits and using licensed contractors is be best assurance that the job will be done right, you are protected against damages, and can claim the increased value for the structure at sale time. Finally, even though you paid a lot of money for this house, with prices continuing to climb in your area at over 20%/year, it will not take long for you to have more than enough equity to justify the addition and costs. If you need to defer the project for financial reasons (you are maxed out), it will be easily eligible for loans, and will seem more affordable within a year or two.

gam000

07:35AM | 12/03/04
Member Since: 12/01/04
2 lifetime posts
Unfortunately LA only has original drawings going back to the 70s so I don't think we will be able to find the plans. I doubt that the architect or builder would still have them.

The addition will be to the back right corner of the house. (I have a picture but can't figure out how to attach it) The main bath is on the outside wall of that outside corner. The sunken tile tub is on that outside wall we are adding to with the toilet and vanity on the opposite interior wall.

I guess we would have to demolish the sunken tile tub to tie into it. Would that give us enough access to the vents, water, and drains to do the master bath addition with shower/tub/toilet/double vanity or will we have to break into the other fixtures in the current main bath?

LonnythePlumber

01:54PM | 12/03/04
I only have to break into the slab about a fourth of the time. If the sewer goes out under the new addition then you tie into it. If it's clay you have to replace it with plastic under a foundation.

If the sewer goes out the opposite side of the house from your addition it may be possible to go around your house. Identify your current depth and sub tract a 1/4" per foot to get back to your new addition.

Residential plans seldom have the as built marks on them. That is where the trades mark where the actual services end up. Your sewer department can identify where your wye hook up is on their main and the depth.

carl21l

04:02PM | 12/03/04
Member Since: 03/21/04
171 lifetime posts
You stated that the addition will be next to the existing bath. Check near the wall outsid the bath to see if there is a cleanout for the sewer line. Most older homes had a cleanout located at the rear of the house. you may have to probe or dig as sometimes the cleanout plug is slightly beloe the surface for cosmetic reasons. if you find a cleanout, then you will have a plade to tie into the existing sewer line. as far as water supply lines, you can always tie into the lines for the existing bath. worse case, if LA code allows, is to route the water supply lines thru the attic.

JMHO

Carl

LonnythePlumber

04:20AM | 12/04/04
Clean outs are still required although an inside one can serve in place of the exterior.

carl21l

07:18PM | 12/04/04
Member Since: 03/21/04
171 lifetime posts
Lonny, I did not intend to imply eliminating the cleanout, just using it as a point to tie in the new drain line. a new cleanout should be installed on the addition plumbing.

JMHO

Carl

LonnythePlumber

10:31AM | 12/05/04
Thanks for helping others understand things car or carl. I only meant to supplement that portion of your statement that "Most older houses" with all houses still require.

carl21l

08:30PM | 12/05/04
Member Since: 03/21/04
171 lifetime posts
some new construction only have the cleanout in between the house and sewer. they use a double wye so that the rota-rooter can be inserted in either direction to break up an obstruction.

JMHO

Carl

tomh

08:30PM | 12/05/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
Sounds like an oxymoron: Save money, use a plumber. But sure looks true in this case. Thanks Lonnie for pointing out how experience can save a lot of frustration and money, as opposed to the cost of repairing mistakes. The last thing I would ever want to do is to tear up a slab to do plumbing.
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